By Julia Vergara | Staff Writer
In the era of social media, the term #goals has become a way to label something as perfect– something everyone wants to do, to be or to have. The phrase can appear anywhere– Twitter, Instagram, Facebook–, and it can refer to just about anything– relationships, vacations, life, etc.
Relationship goals often refer to the adorable celebrity couples that are constantly gushing about each other on social media and in interviews. Vacation goals could refer to relaxing luxuriously on the beach without a care in the world. Life goals could refer to a huge house in a gorgeous location, a nice car and a beautiful family.
However, #goals should not be taken too seriously. A goal, by definition, is something you strive for and work toward achieving, but #goals are different. More often than not, you’re not actually working toward encompassing those relationship, vacation or life goals– you’re just envying them. You’re scrolling through social media, looking at all these seemingly perfect lives and then comparing them to your not-so-perfect life. And it isn’t fair for you to compare your real life to the “goals” you see on social media. It’s not fair to you because, first of all, those “goals” aren’t based in reality and, second of all, real goals shouldn’t be created from envy.
When we see these “goals,” we often forget that social media accounts do not represent a person’s real life. We repeatedly see the perfect couple, the perfect vacation and the perfect lifestyle, and we are certain that ours pales in comparison.
However, we need to keep in mind that what is put out on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is not real life. A social media account just presents the life people want to show others; behind the scenes, others’ lives are just as imperfect as yours. Despite their perfect posts, they deal with sadness, stress, anger– all the hard things about life– just like you.
Instead of making their #goals lifestyle your own personal goals, focus on yourself and think of what you want to improve in your own life. Goals shouldn’t be based on envy. If you strive to have what someone else has, you will never be satisfied, because there is always going to be someone else that has more. If you make your goal to be as happy as that one couple, once you reach that, another couple will just seem even happier. If your goal is to plan a vacation as breathtaking as your friend’s trip, once you reach that, another friend’s vacation will seem even more captivating than yours. If your goal is to be as successful as your sibling, once you reach that, there will just be another person with a bigger house and a nicer car. Goals based on the envy of others can never be fully satisfied because you will always be looking at people who have more than you.
Instead of focusing on social media’s #goals, we should stop looking at other people’s lives and start looking at our own for goal inspiration. Goals should come from self-reflection and realizing what we would like to do better. Once we end our fascination with #goals, setting real goals will help us become better.
Julia Vergara is a sophomore journalism major from Katy.